Local search and rescue team to begin training


(Front, from left) Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith, Texas EquuSearch-Winfield President Hilda Smith, Winfield Mayor Randy Price, Walker County Investigator Mike Cole and (back) Texas EquuSearch Midwest Chapter Director Dave Rader are all pictured in front of the Winfield Hampton Inn on Thursday, June 11.

WINFIELD -  Texas Equusearch, who announced a new chapter in Winfield in February, will soon begin training volunteers as announced during a meeting on Thursday, June 11, at the Hampton Inn in Winfield.
Chapter President Hilda Smith held the meeting along with Midwest Chapter Director David Rader and Twila Sisco and Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith and Investigator Mike Cole.
In attendance were several members of the Winfield community including Commissioner Tim “Ears” Estes and Winfield Mayor Randy Price.

The show will go on

HACKLEBURG - Officials have decided to move ahead with Hackleburg’s annual firework celebration.
The display will take place on Saturday, July 4, beginning around 9 p.m. in downtown Hackleburg. Officials are recommending viewers to practice social distancing while they enjoy the display.
The Hackleburg Town Council discussed plans for the event during a meeting on Monday, June 8.
“We have to follow the CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines and we will be encouraging residents to wear masks and maintain six-foot distances,” Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn said.

County moves forward with major road projects


Rebuild Alabama project signs were placed on County Road 14 in Winfield following the unanimous vote to start the major road project.

HAMILTON - The Marion County Commission unanimously voted to award the bid for the planing, resurfacing and traffic striping of County Road 14 in Winfield to S.T. Bunn Construction Company during a regular meeting on Monday, June 8, at the commission office in Hamilton.
Marion County Engineer Mike Shaw was in attendance during the meeting to recommend bid approvals for various projects and discussed the state of various roads in the county.

Hackleburg leading the pack

Marion County is currently trailing behind the statewide Census response rate.
As of Wednesday, June 10, 57.2% of Marion County residents have self-reported to the 2020 Census while 58.8% of Alabamians have responded.
Bear Creek - 60.4%
Brilliant - 53.7%
Guin - 51.6%
Gu-Win - 53%
Hackleburg - 62.3%
Hamilton - 61.3%
Twin - 57.3%
Winfield - 61.7%
Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (NACOLG) Regional Director Beau Cooper is encouraged that Marion County is not far behind its 2010 self-response rate of 59.8%.

Are you registered to vote?

Don’t be caught unprepared for the Republican Primary runoff election on Thursday, July 14.
Voters have until Monday, June 29, to register to participate in this year’s primary election.
Two Republican races will be on the July 14 runoff ticket: the Alabama Senate race between Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville and the race for Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, Place 2 between Beth Kellum and Will Smith.
The winner of the senate runoff will face incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D).

 

Summer conferences canceled

HAMILTON - Summer conferences which attract thousands of out-of-town guests to Marion County will not take place this year.

The Ramp publicly announced the cancelations by email on Monday, June 15, noting challenges presented by COVID-19. The Hamilton-based ministry normally hosts two summer youth conferences and a children’s conference each year.

City ordering new garbage truck

HAMILTON - Substantial changes are ahead for Hamilton’s garbage detail.
City officials have given the OK to place an order for a new garbage truck. The new unit will feature a robotic lift arm that will be used to grab trash receptacles from the side of the road and empty them into the truck’s compactor.
The change will require all residents to have compatible trash cans. Most pick-up schedules will likely be affected as well.

Camps struggle under COVID health orders

Local camps have had a unique challenge while attempting to plan programs this summer.
Regulations and guidelines issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have left camp administrators with limited options for hosting campers.
Maywood Christian Camp in Hamilton has had to cancel the first four weeks of its camping season. Trinity Camp in Guin has made the difficult decision to cancel camp altogether.

freedomFIBER gathering local leaders

HAMILTON -  freedomFIBER is gathering local superintendents and government leadership today, Wednesday, June 10, at 9 a.m., to discuss ways to reach students who live without internet access.
Trey Cunningham, freedomFIBER Marketing and Public Relations coordinator informed the Journal Record that more than 9 million children nationwide lack internet access at home.
“When you bring the numbers down to Northwest Alabama the size might lessen, but the percentage increases,” said Cunningham.

‘We believe we might see another surge’

WINSTON COUNTY - In a press conferences Thursday morning, May 28, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and U.S. Senator Doug Jones discussed the increase in COVID-19 cases in Alabama over the last week, an increase that cannot be attributed to an increase in testing, but might have to do more with Alabamians’ personal behavior.
Jones hosted the virtual press conference on his Facebook page, opening the meeting by discussing how the U.S. now has over 100,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, a grim milestone.

A&I employee tests positive for COVID-19

HAMILTON -  The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) was informed via self-reporting that one staff member employed at Hamilton Aged and Infirmed prison has tested positive for COVID-19.   
Samantha Rose, Public Information Specialist with ADOC stated that the individual promptly self-quarantined under the direction of their healthcare provider.
According to Rose, ADOC’s Office of Health Services (OHS) has initiated an investigation to determine which, if any, ADOC inmates or employees may have had direct, prolonged exposure to this staff member.

Guin’s Ava Bellew wins districtwide photo contest


Wildflowers spring up in front of an old red barn in Guin. This photo captured by Ava Bellew, 11, of Guin, was chosen as the winner of a contest hosted by Congressman Robert Aderholt. Ava took the image on May 4 using a Nikon D500 camera.

GUIN - A photo captured by an 11-year-old Guin resident will hang in Congressman Robert Aderholt’s office in Washington, D.C.
Ava Bellew, 11, daughter of Bobby and Heather Bellew, submitted a photograph to Aderholt’s Picture of the District Contest in May.
Her photo was selected as the districtwide favorite by popular vote on social media. The image, titled “Spring in Alabama,” has also been uploaded as Aderholt’s cover image on Facebook and Twitter.

Wilds family de-annexed from Brilliant

Brilliant - A family will have roughly 80 acres of land de-annexed from the Town of Brilliant.
Six tracts of land belonging to the Wild’s family will be removed from Brilliant’s incorporated limits effective Aug. 1.
The land was de-annexed through a local act of the Alabama Legislature, Senate Bill 331, which was passed by the lawmakers on Friday, May 8. The bill was made into law on the last day of the 2020 Legislative Session (Monday, May 18).